USTR Provides Detail On Products Subject To Additional Section 301 ("China") Tariffs

Torres Trade Law, PLLC


Torres Law, PLLC is an international trade and national security law firm that assists clients with the import and export of goods, technology, services, and foreign investment matters. We have extensive experience with the various regimes and agencies governing trade such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Department of Defense Security Service (DSS), the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and others.
On May 22, 2024, the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") announced the publication of a Federal Register Notice ("the FRN") setting forth additional and increased Section 301...
United States International Law
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On May 22, 2024, the United States Trade Representative ("USTR") announced the publication of a Federal Register Notice ("the FRN") setting forth additional and increased Section 301 tariffs for specific Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. ("HTSUS") subheadings. In addition, the FRN provides details on products subject to potential exclusions from the tariffs and establishes a period for interested parties to provide comments on the tariff modifications and potential exclusions.

The announcement of the FRN follows the May 14, 2024, publication of the USTR's report on the Four-Year Review of the actions taken under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to counter China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. The report, along with a memorandum issued by President Biden on the same day signaled that additional and increased tariffs would be imposed on certain product categories including steel and aluminum products, electric vehicles, semiconductors, and solar cells.1 The new FRN provides an Annex containing 382 HTSUS subheadings within the product categories referenced by the USTR and President Biden last week.

Notably, the FRN also states that tariffs set to go into effect in 2024 will become effective on August 1st. Tariffs set to go into effect in 2025 and 2026 will become effective on January 1st of those respective years.

For importers of goods subject to the modified tariffs, it may be possible to mitigate the impact of the tariffs by obtaining a temporary product exclusion. Specifically, the USTR is establishing a process for interested parties to request tariff exclusions for "particular machinery used in domestic manufacturing." Annex B of the FRN provides a list of subheadings under HTSUS Chapters 84 and 85 to be considered in the exclusion process. In addition, the USTR is proposing to automatically grant 19 temporary tariff exclusions for certain solar manufacturing machinery listed in Annex C of the FRN. Importantly, the temporary exclusions for both domestic manufacturing and solar manufacturing machinery, whether granted automatically or through the exclusion process, will expire on May 31, 2025.

The FRN also establishes a public comment period beginning on May 29, 2024, and closing on June 28, 2024. The USTR is seeking comments related to the following topics:

  • The effectiveness of the additional and increased tariffs on HTSUS subheadings listed in Annex A of the FRN in obtaining the elimination of or in counteracting China's acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
  • The impact of the additional and increased tariffs on the U.S. economy and U.S. consumers.
  • The scope of the product description for certain ship-to-shore cranes and listed statistical reporting codes for certain facemasks.
  • Potential increase of the proposed tariff rates for facemasks, medical gloves, and syringes and needles.
  • Whether the proposed tariff modifications adequately cover the products and sectors referenced in the President's May 14 memorandum.
  • The scope of the Annex B list of domestic manufacturing machinery eligible for consideration during the exclusion process.
  • The scope of the Annex C list of solar manufacturing machinery subject to temporary tariff exclusions.

The comment period provides an opportunity for those impacted by the tariffs to advocate for certain modifications based on the topics listed above. Importers with goods subject to new or additional tariffs as listed in Annex A of the FRN should check to see if their products are included within the scope of products eligible to receive an exclusion from the tariffs. Importantly, the comment period may be the only opportunity for importers of domestic manufacturing machinery or solar manufacturing machinery to advocate for products not included on the Annex B and Annex C lists to be considered for tariff exclusions.

The FRN does not provide guidance on whether current product exclusions set to expire on May 31, 2024 will be extended.


1. See our prior Trade Alert on the May 14, 2024, publications here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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